Practical Work in Primary Science: Actions and Verbalized Knowledge

By Alexandros Todas and Michael Skoumios.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 04, 2014 $US5.00

Research on the effectiveness of practical work in primary school is restricted. This study focuses on pupils’ actions that are related to the context of practical work and pupils’ verbalized knowledge expressed by them during practical work in science. In particular, the present study aims to investigate the relationships between pupils’ actions and their verbalized knowledge when they are carrying out practical work. In this direction research has been conducted in which videotapes from practical work carried out by pupils (11 years old) were analyzed. The analysis used the category-based analysis of videotapes method (CBAV). The results of the analysis allowed to: (a) map the time budget the pupils devoted to working with the different contexts of science practical work and the verbalized knowledge the pupils formulate while carrying out the practical work and (b) investigate the contribution of different contexts of practical work to the amount of students' verbalizations of knowledge. It emerged that manipulating apparatus and materials are pupils’ prevailing actions, which take up most of their time, while the contribution of their actions to enabling them to link practice with theory is minimal.

Keywords: Practical Work, Science Education, Primary School

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 20, Issue 2, April 2014, pp.37-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 04, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 708.719KB)).

Alexandros Todas

Teacher, Primary Education, Rhodes, Rhodes, Greece

Alexandros Todas graduated from the Department of Primary Education at University of Aegean in 2007 and received his MSc. Degree in 2013 from the Department of Primary Education at University of Aegean (Greece). Since 2008 he has been working in the Greek public primary education as a teacher.

Dr. Michael Skoumios

Lecturer, Department of Primary Education, University of Aegean, Rhodes, Dodecanisa, Greece

Michael Skoumios obtained a first degree in Physics from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 1987, a second degree in Education from the University of Aegean in 1992 and his PhD in Science Education from the Hellenic Open University in 2005. His research interests include science concept learning and teaching science in primary and secondary schools. He is currently teaching Science Education in the Department of Primary Education of the University of the Aegean (Greece).